2023 Stanley Cup Final: What is the Conn Smythe Trophy?

What is the Conn Smythe Trophy? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Stanley Cup isn’t the only hardware that will be given at the conclusion of the NHL postseason.

Before the winning captain lifts the Cup, the league will hand out the Conn Smythe Trophy. The Florida Panthers and Vegas Golden Knights are both chasing their first Cup, and someone will become the first Conn Smythe winner in their respective franchise’s history.

Before that series gets underway, here’s a glance at some of the history surrounding the Conn Smythe Trophy.

Who is Conn Smythe?

The trophy is named after Conn Smythe, a former coach, manager, president and owner-governor for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He helped turn the St. Pats into the Maple Leafs in 1927 and spent over 30 years with the organization.

What is the Conn Smythe Trophy?

The honor is given to “the most valuable player for his team in the playoffs.” It was first awarded in 1965 and is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association following the last game of the Cup Final.

The trophy differs from individual awards handed out in the NFL, NBA and MLB playoffs. Those honor the best player in the respective league’s championship round or game as opposed to the playoffs as a whole.

Which NHL player has the most Conn Smythe Trophies?

Goaltender Patrick Roy is the only three-time Conn Smythe winner. He’s also the youngest player in league history to win the award, doing so at 20 years old in 1986. His next came in 1993 and he earned his third in 2001.

Bobby Orr, Bernie Parent, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby are two-time recipients of the trophy.

Has a player ever won the Conn Smythe Trophy but not the Stanley Cup?

Five players have earned the Conn Smythe Trophy despite not winning the Stanley Cup.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere is the most recent player to do so, receiving the honor with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim after falling to the New Jersey Devils in the 2003 Stanley Cup Final. Roger Crozier (1966), Glenn Hall (1968), Reggie Leach (1976) and Ron Hextall (1987) are the other players to pull off the feat.

Every Conn Smythe Trophy winner

Here is every winner dating back to 1965:

  • 2022: Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche

  • 2021: Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning

  • 2020: Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning

  • 2019: Ryan O'Reilly, St. Louis Blues

  • 2018: Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

  • 2017: Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

  • 2016: Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

  • 2015: Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks

  • 2014: Justin Williams, Los Angeles Kings

  • 2013: Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks

  • 2012: Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings

  • 2011: Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins

  • 2010: Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

  • 2009: Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins

  • 2008: Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings

  • 2007: Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim Ducks

  • 2006: Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes

  • 2004: Brad Richards, Tampa Bay Lightning

  • 2003: Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim

  • 2002: Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings

  • 2001: Patrick Roy, Colorado Avalanche

  • 2000: Scott Stevens, New Jersey Devils

  • 1999: Joe Nieuwendyk, Dallas Stars

  • 1998: Steve Yzerman, Detroit Red Wings

  • 1997: Mike Vernon, Detroit Red Wings

  • 1996: Joe Sakic, Colorado Avalanche

  • 1995: Claude Lemieux, New Jersey Devils

  • 1994: Brian Leetch, New York Rangers

  • 1993: Patrick Roy, Montreal Canadiens

  • 1992: Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins

  • 1991: Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins

  • 1990: Bill Ranford, Edmonton Oilers

  • 1989: Al MacInnis, Calgary Flames

  • 1988: Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton Oilers

  • 1987: Ron Hextall, Philadelphia Flyers

  • 1986: Patrick Roy, Montreal Canadiens

  • 1985: Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton Oilers

  • 1984: Mark Messier, Edmonton Oilers

  • 1983: Billy Smith, New York Islanders

  • 1982: Mike Bossy, New York Islanders

  • 1981: Butch Goring, New York Islanders

  • 1980: Bryan Trottier, New York Islanders

  • 1979: Bob Gainey, Montreal Canadiens

  • 1978: Larry Robinson, Montreal Canadiens

  • 1977: Guy Lafleur, Montreal Canadiens

  • 1976: Reggie Leach, Philadelphia Flyers

  • 1975: Bernie Parent, Philadelphia Flyers

  • 1974: Bernie Parent, Philadelphia Flyers

  • 1973: Yvan Cournoyer, Montreal Canadiens

  • 1972: Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins

  • 1971: Ken Dryden, Montreal Canadiens

  • 1970: Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins

  • 1969: Serge Savard, Montreal Canadiens

  • 1968: Glenn Hall, St. Louis Blues

  • 1967: Dave Keon, Toronto Maple Leafs

  • 1966: Roger Crozier, Detroit Red Wings

  • 1965: Jean Beliveau, Montreal Canadiens